CEDAR RAPIDS – Following calls from Iowa officials, a federal energy agency is ordering pipeline company to shift distribution of liquid propane to Iowa and other Midwest states where demand is by farmers and homeowners is outstripping the supply.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has ordered an alternative dispute resolution process to address the propane shortage in the Upper Midwest. The move, following calls from Grassley, Sen. Joni Ernst, Gov. Kim Reynolds and other Midwest officials, should provide emergency transportation of propane to the Midwest for 30 days. The Iowa United States House delegation of Reps. Abby Finkenauer, Dave Loebsack, Cindy Axne and Steve King also sent a letter https://agriculture.house.gov/uploadedfiles/11_14_19_propane_letter_to_ferc.pdf to FERC last week seeking relief from the propane shortage.
“It’s a good first step and I'm glad to see FERC is taking this issue seriously,” Grassley said Wednesday.
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Liquid propane is used to dry corn, heat homes and livestock facilities and run businesses. Demand is high because of early cold weather. Also, a wet spring that delayed planting has extended the harvesting season to overlap with the home heating season.
“I've heard from farmers, propane marketers, co-ops and manufacturers in Iowa about how the lack of access to propane is affecting operations and threatening livelihoods,” Grassley said on his weekly call with reporters.
The alternative dispute resolution process will bring together pipeline companies, shippers and others to explore action that FERC and the industry can take to alleviate the shortage of propane, Grassley said.
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